Ligue 1

‘It was important he grew up’ – Mature Neymar praised by Brazil boss Tite

Tite has said that Neymar has shown a "sign of greatness" by being able to modify his behaviour to become a "leader" for PSG.

8:03pm on Wednesday 16th December 2020
Robin Bairner

Brazil national team boss Tite has said that Neymar is more mature than ever – and that he is a better player for it.

The Paris Saint-Germain star showed during the Final 8 tournament in the summer that he is not simply an individual player, as often portrayed.

He has continued that attitude into the 2020/21 campaign for his club and has returned nine goals and five assists in 12 appearances in all competitions, despite numerous physical issues.

Tite says that it is a reflection of how the 28-year-old has grown up and developed into a “leader” for both club and country.

“Sometimes maturity comes with time and the mistakes we make too,” the Brazil boss told SporTV.

“Reconsidering, evaluating and modifying your behaviour is a mark of greatness.

“Today, in how he shows his behaviour and attitude, he brings a voice that resonates with everyone because he is a leader.

“It’s important that he has grown up and that he is mature. Everything he does will echo around him.

“Neymar has evolved not only as a person, but also in his technical performances.”

Neymar is presently nursing an ankle injury that he sustained during PSG’s 1-0 defeat against Lyon on Sunday.

The initial fears were that he could be sidelined for an extended period because of the problem, but PSG have suggested that he could return to competitive action as early as Sunday’s top-of-the-table showdown against Lille.

Since arriving in Paris, Neymar has suffered a succession of significant injury problems that have often prevented him from taking part in their most important fixtures.

He seems, however, to be on course to feature against Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Meanwhile, his contract is up in the summer of 2022 and the club are optimistic both of him extending and of capturing his former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, too.

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